This "question" is simply the author's attempt to put as many ideas unique to me in one place as he easily can, and label them stupid. There is such a thing as simple abuse and this man has crossed the line. Why has this been allowed to go this far?

When an entire unreasonable discussion is removed, and the starting salvo is just reiterated to start the abusive nonsense over again, the author is just flouting the authority that keeps this site safe.

And when someone chooses to simply take my profile and construct a purposive insult out o the contents, he is not doing philosophy. He is attacking me personally.

I am not a fan of authority, so I do not appeal to it lightly, and I realize that I am one of the less polite people here, but my harshness is generally not intended to do harm. This is.


It's not. My comments pointed to that fact, and I attempted an edit to render the question less hostile - but the author rolled back those edits. That's why the question is now closed. If someone attempts not respectful dialogue but vitriolic attack, that's unacceptable here. I'm sorry that you're having to put up with this from multiple directions.

  • "... put up with this from multiple directions", has this happened before? How was it dealt with last time?
    – Isaacson
    Dec 2 '16 at 8:33
  • I have an equally contentious relationship with people who either state religious content as fact, or mock religion as stupid. And on the same day I had someone purposely go back and edit in anti-gay sentiment into an answer because I pointed out that gay men were a partial counterexample to his argument. I do understand this is due to a level of abrasiveness on my part, but my abrasiveness is about lack of attention to other perspectives, and is not an outright attack on anyone.
    – user9166
    Dec 2 '16 at 18:23
  • @jobermark unless the religious dogmatism is presented in as an intentionally offensive attack, it isn't strictly against site rules. Believe me when I say that I empathize with the frustration you have dealing with obstinate unreason, but unless it's demonstrably rude (as opposed to "mere" indoctrinated panegyric) it's within "acceptable" behaviour. Moderators are not, for better or for worse, tasked with maintaining philosophical rigor.
    – commando
    Dec 2 '16 at 20:31
  • @Isaacson without delving into unnecessary details, suffice it to say that some unpleasant comment exchanges have occurred. The unproductive, offensive comments were removed. This isn't to say that any comment chain involving some degree of animosity will be removed. Debates are on occasion unfriendly, but as long as they remain philosophical and free of ad hominem and the like, there isn't much to be done but appeal to good will.
    – commando
    Dec 2 '16 at 20:40
  • @commando It still is not philosophy, unless it is as part of a context of rigorous theology or comparative religion, and thus it has no weight. A' la Wittgenstein, 'god-talk' is a valid domain, but it is not the domain of philosophy outside theology and psychology. Acting (rightly) as though arguments from dogma are automatically irrelevant really bothers people who make them.
    – user9166
    Dec 2 '16 at 22:11
  • @jobermark I agree. I'm just not sure that such provisions are made to deal with that here, save down votes and closing off-topic questions. It's not a matter of the content having too much merit to remove. It's that our rules don't deal with merit, only acceptability in respectful discourse.
    – commando
    Dec 2 '16 at 22:13
  • The guy seems unstable, overly emotional, and clearly would be unable to have civilized discussion... and you can tell that after about the first three sentences. Close the question, brush off your hands, and move on. (I say that as someone who thinks the mods should normally demonstrate as light a touch as possible... when the original poster is acting in good faith.) Dec 6 '16 at 0:47
  • @kbelder That would be OK if he did not follow me around, finding whatever excuse he can to complain about me personally. Meeting someone on the street and just not getting along is not harassment, going to every place they go and leaving traces is. When that is followed up by putting up signs about how stupid they are, it becomes slander as well.
    – user9166
    Dec 23 '16 at 18:01

Absolutely, this is entirely unacceptable, especially when there is a chat room in which such issues could have been raised if the author was genuinely interested in the thoughts posted on your profile. I see a lot of vitriol in comments, and perhaps this should be toned down, but at least it all derives from the question, and some questions are quite emotive so it's to be expected, but this is a premeditated attempt to generate argument with a specific person, surely this is not what the site is for.


I sticked to flagging and appealing because of previous discussions in comments, but was asking myself as well wether there are no means to handle this (forseeable) escalation.

I am a bit angry that it came to this, to be honest. If I remember correctly, there are means like temporary bans from chats, but I do not know wether these extend to commenting, questioning, and answering (or even one of them).

In general, hostile, (passive-)aggressive, arrogant or dogmatic behaviour should be held within reasonable boundaries. And if it is tied to traits, more than closing and deleting is needed. But I genuinely do not know which means moderators have to slowly climb the ladder of escalation here. It is just that I can imagine it will not be the last time.

  • 2
    We can ban someone for some time, which I did in this case. However, that is really not something we want to do every day.
    – user2953
    Dec 3 '16 at 8:05

Even if you're being deliberately trolled, it's one, low-rep user, and a downvoted and closed question.

I think you're just giving him what he wants if you let it rattle you. Anyone who is active on the internet and doesn't occasionally attract abuse probably isn't saying anything very interesting.

And contrasting your own position as one of the all-time top-rated users, I think it's safe to say the community has affirmed you and your approach with all the methods available to it.

  • I some sense, this is part of the problem. Thank you for pointing it out. In general, I am not even arguing my own position. I feel threatened when people I am not really connected to, but whom I respect, are attacked too unfairly. That the nature of the hook in this case. The original attacks, for which this one is retaliation, is on Dennett, Kuhn, and Jung, and upon psychologists in general (or at least non-Clinical ones, I will readily admit my own Clinical Psychology degree is in an engineering discipline and not a science.)
    – user9166
    Dec 2 '16 at 22:00
  • The fact this is retaliation is what makes it dangerous to people other than me, and what really makes it unacceptable.
    – user9166
    Dec 2 '16 at 22:02
  • If I can manage myself, I should leave protecting everyone to those elected to do it...
    – user9166
    Dec 2 '16 at 22:18
  • 1
    Also, I think what makes this different from the (let's face it quite abrasive) tone of the discussions that have lead up to it is that it is an abuse of the system. The OP has not just insulted Jobermark (there's been are fair bit of that from both sides) he's exploited the Q&A mechanics to launch an attack, which I think is a step too far.
    – Isaacson
    Dec 3 '16 at 8:41
  • 1
    It is one, low-rep user who consistently degraded people because they disagreed with him in a manner that tried to make them look dumb, i.e. a very passive-aggressive manner. I understand you are saying "do not feed the troll". The problem is that StackExchange does not really work this way. We rely on stating opposing opinions. And we cannot let a minority opinion be untouched because it happens to be the opinion of a troll, as this would distort the resulting picture for all readers to come exactly in the way intended.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Dec 3 '16 at 13:56

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